From Jared Dines to Sarah Longfield: how YouTube guitar heroes' DIY approach paid off, big time

Sarah Longfield with her signature eight-string Strandberg model (Image credit: Ken Susi)

The staccato rhythm of the opening riff to Trivium’s In Waves is blasting through Chicago’s House of Blues when frontman Matt Heafy announces a special guest. Howard Jones, the hulking former frontman of Killswitch Engage and current face of fellow metalcorers Light the Torch, comes strutting onstage and unleashes a blood-curdling scream before walking over and wrapping his arm around another guy who’s been asked to sit in.

Leaning into the crowd as he palm-mutes, Jared Dines is wearing his signature backwards baseball cap and the biggest grin imaginable. Dines might not have the portfolio of a Heafy or a Jones, but he’s got his own kind of fame. Over the past few years, Dines has reached millions of eyeballs and eardrums - not through headlining tours, but through YouTube videos with titles like 'Things Beginner Guitarists Say' and 'If Lady Gaga Was Metal'.

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Adam Kovac

Adam is a freelance writer whose work has appeared, aside from Guitar World, in Rolling Stone, Playboy, Esquire and VICE. He spent many years in bands you've never heard of before deciding to leave behind the financial uncertainty of rock'n roll for the lucrative life of journalism. He still finds time to recreate his dreams of stardom in his pop-punk tribute band, Finding Emo.